Actions Trump Words

23 Mar

As they sat together in the library, Julia tried to explain once again to Jay why she didn’t want to marry him. In fact, she shared all the wrong things she saw in their relationship, giving several reasons why they needed to break up once and for all.

Yet no matter what Julia told Jay, he didn’t believe her. He couldn’t take her words seriously because her actions seemed so contradictory. In his mind, the fun they had together and the kisses they shared spoke much louder than Julia’s words. Besides, if she really did believe all that stuff she was saying, why had she even dated him? It made no sense to Jay. He was convinced that all her crazy talk was because she was afraid to experience the love that was in her heart for him.

What can we learn from this?

You can say what you believe, but if you aren’t living it, it doesn’t mean much. People believe actions over words. What you say you believe is proven true or false by what you actually do.

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:14-17 (NLT)

It’s critical to understand that we don’t earn our salvation by the good things we do. Salvation is a free gift based on what Jesus did. We simply receive it gratefully. So, why are our actions still important? Our actions reveal that our faith in God is real, that it affects our lives both inside and out. (That doesn’t mean we never make mistakes in life. It just means our life is going from “glory to glory,” becoming more and more like Christ, as we learn and grow in Him.)

Take some time to think about your life. Are your actions lining up with what you say you believe?

If not, ask God to help you in this area. With His strength, you can live out your faith day by day!

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